The NBA Players Assn. voted Friday to approve the NBA’s 22-team return-to-play plan and to continue with negotiations toward a resumption of the 2019-20 season.
“The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Assn. (NBPA) has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season,” the union said in a statement. “Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.”
Representatives from nearly all 30 NBA teams were on the call, unanimously voting in favor of the return to action.
NBPA president Chris Paul is a friend of Disney executive chairman Bob Iger, and the two worked closely with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to deliver a palatable plan.
The union informed players that the hope is to limit the number of players inside the “bubble” to about 1,600, with the possibilities for families to join players after the first round of the playoffs. According to sources, the plan calls for players to stay on the campus at Walt Disney World (not in theme parks), with daily testing for the coronavirus expected.
On Thursday, 29 of the league’s 30 governors voted in favor of a plan to bring 22 teams to Orlando, Fla., for a handful of games starting July 31, with the possibility of a play-in tournament for the final spot in each conference’s playoffs, before entering a 16-team traditional postseason.
The league still needs to finalize a deal with Disney to host the games at the Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.